Well I can’t say for sure whether Jeff Francoeur likes to eat apples or not, but he definitely likes to play for the Big Apple. I figured today I would talk a little about a player for the Mets who is slowly becoming one of my favorite Met players of all-time. Mr. Jeff Francoeur joined this team via a player swap with the Atlanta Braves for right fielder Ryan Church (and it is obvious who benefited from that trade).
Ever since joining the club just before the All-Star break, Jeff has invigorated this ball club and has served as the glue that holds the team’s chemistry together. Now every Mets fan out there is well aware of the fact that Jeff is a gamer, he possesses all of the “Give-em Hell” and “Never Give Up” attitude that the Mets have been without for quite some time. On top of his aggressive style play and award winning smile, Jeff is a teammate.
I have particularly found his personal blog that he maintains for his fan following, extremely interesting and informative, and he really communicates with his fan base unlike many major league players out there. If you are interested in seeing his personal blog, simply go to www.jefffrancoeur.com and check it out.
Lately, I have heard several suggestions of moving Jeff from the starting Right Fielder position and moving him to a bench role. It is understandable that his recent struggles at the plate would generate itchy trigger fingers to pull the trigger and swap Jeff out for a current hot hand, but I think that in the long run, moving Jeff to the bench will ultimately hurt this club.
Other than his highly touted glove, howitzer arm, and average bat, Jeff Francoeur contributes a lot to this team’s chemistry and fight. Although it may be difficult to overlook his struggles at the plate, what would concern me much more would be to move him to the bench and possibly lose that fire and tenacity that inspires this club. I just worry that even a temporary move to the bench might affect Jeff’s psyche to a point that even a re-instatement back to a starter role might not fix.
I think in Jeff’s particular case, the numbers don’t show the whole picture. It takes a certain drive, a certain willingness to win at all costs that made Jeff decide to barrel over one of his closest friends, Brian McCann at home plate to try to jar the ball loose. There is something inside of Jeff that I believe all Mets fans wish every player on the Mets had. That thing is “CARE”, Jeff honestly and whole-heartedly CARES about whether we win or lose. He hates losing, because he is a winner, and quite frankly we need more winners.
Heck even most fictional superheroes like Superman, Batman, etc. had moments of weakness, struggles, and only through hard work and the right attitude were they able to prevail in the end. If Jeff was hitting .350, 30 HR, 20 SB, with the character and attitude he exhibits day after day, he would be the gold standard of baseball players.
You can say Jeff Francoeur is lost at the plate, a bad ball hitter, an average hitter at his best; but what you can’t ever say about Jeff Francoeur is that he “just goes through the motions”, “only cares about collecting a check”, and most certainly you can’t say he’s “not a winner”. As Mets fans, we should feel blessed that we can say we have a guy like Jeff playing on our side, he embodies the Mets spirit through and through, everything that a Met player should stand for.
Enjoy your Friday, and see you all when the next one comes around…